Taking Bucky Down
I have been loving this series and it's one of my favourite Marvel series. I've always liked the Bucky Barnes since Ed Brubaker reintroduced him in Winter Soldier, and have enjoyed reading his tales even more now he's got his own series, with his own name on the cover (unlike when he was the main character in Captain America).
This issue sees Bucky, who has been brainwashed to obey Leo Novokov, attack Daredevil, trying to kill him. Wolverine, Hawkeye, and Captain America follow trying with Wolverine and Hawkeye trying to stop him.
This was a brilliant issue and Brubaker continues his amazing work on this series. I think Brubaker's best work has came out of this character, and it's easy to notice why. When he started Captain America the first story arc brought Bucky back into the Marvel Universe, and he's been a strong part ever since, even becoming Captain America himself during it. Once Bucky apparently died and got this series the new Captain America series wasn't as good. Brubaker did however create a brilliant series in this though, which has been brilliant. I will however say that this isn't the best issue I've read in this series, and is perhaps the worst. It's still a very good issue, and that shows just how good a series this has been when this great issue is the worst in the series. I've found it interesting seeing Bucky back under mind control, but although I liked this in this issue I felt it moved too quickly, and I didn't get chance to savour any of the moments.
I've also loved the art throughout this series and Butch Guice has especially done a great job. I did however think that the art on this issue wasn't quite as good as the others, and although I've loved his art on action sequences, it wasn't quite as good this time round. Whist Bucky is fighting Daredevil it doesn't feel quite as smooth a transition between panels as other fight sequences, and Guice has done better work in the past. It was still however good in places and the actual art itself was very nice. Although I don't usually like this style of artwork, it suits this series perfectly, giving a very gritty, and edgy tone. He also shows emotion in his art brilliantly, which isn't always easy with a grittier style. Although I had one complaint about the way he drew the action in this issue, I did however like how it felt like watching a film, and that he knew when to draw something from a certain angle, or perspective.
I've enjoyed seeing Wolverine, Hawkeye, and Captain America make an appearance throughout this story, and it's nice that they are all in this issue. Although the main fight in this issue is between Bucky and Daredevil, I like how Wolverine, and Hawkeye have tried to help, attempting to take Bucky down. It was also a very good choice to have Captain America as a backup plan, as with all these heavy hitters out front from the start it makes sense to have the best in a reserve position. The attitude of all the suporting characters in this issue was also very interesting, as they knew they couldn't completely hold back as Bucky would easily kill them (apart from maybe Wolverine), but still didn't want to hurt Bucky as they knew their friend was in there.
Although there were a couple of minor things I didn't like about the art during the Daredevil/Bucky fight, the fight itself was still very good. The way Daredevil held back because he knew Black Widow loved him, and that cause of that there was probably a good person underneath, and that he was probably being manipulated. Like I said earlier I also liked that the fight sequence felt like a movie scene, and how it felt very dramatic. It was also interesting to see how Daredevil reacted to the fact that Bucky was alive, as apart from S.H.I.E.L.D., and the people already involved in this series, everyone still thinks he's dead. The only thing fighting wise that I felt was missing was Black Widow, as she doesn't really appear much in this issue, and when she does she doesn't do any fighting.
I loved when Captain America got involved in the fight, and even when he just jumped out of the helicopter it was obvious that this fight would get kicked into a higher gear. The way Cap held back for most of the issue was enough to build the suspense as with Bucky back under mind control there was bound to be a point where Cap would need to get involved. I also think that Cap held back for so long because he didn't want to fight his best friend, and if the others could subdue him without his help it would prevent him from fighting him.
This was a brilliant issue, and although it's not the best in the series it is still very good, and I will be sad when Brubaker leaves this series. I would highly recommend this issue, and am looking forward to the conclusion of this story in the next issue.